EcoATM on Going Green

Dylan Welch interviews Chase Freeman, from EcoATM on Going Green.

Dylan Welch, host of Going Green, recently sat down with Chase Freeman, of EcoATM Gazelle, to discuss e-waste, and what EcoATM is doing as a business to make a difference. Read the transcript of the interview below.

Dylan Welch
Welcome back to going green. And we have chase Freeman here on the show from Eco Atm Gazelle Chase, thanks so much for being here.

Chase Freeman
Thanks Dylan. Pleasure to be here. So first and foremost, tell us what you guys are doing at Eco ATM Gazelle. Great. Yeah. So at EcoATM, cause all we’re really focused on at the core of what we do, um, recycling devices. So what that could mean is, you know, e waste out of the environment. He waste being laptops, iPads, iPhones, any type of smartphone. Um, rather than throwing it in, just say the Trashcan, understanding first, what that does to the environment so it harming the environment and also what is a way to properly dispose of it. So rather than putting it in the trashcan or storing in a drawer, is there maybe a way you can earn some money for that device or properly recycle it? So harmful materials like lead, arsenic, mercury don’t end up in our environment.

Dylan Welch
So walk me through this process. I have an old phone that I don’t use anymore. I buy a new one rather than just throwing it in the trash, I can send it to you guys. I can put it in an ATM machine. And then you guys take it and fixed it up and put it back on the market. Is that how it works?

Chase Freeman
Yeah. So EcoATM offers consumers two ways to trade in their device. Um, uh, we have over 30 to 50 kiosks across 47 states. And, uh, what you do is you just go up to a kiosk in your area, which you can find a location on our website. Um, and it’s about an eight to 10 minute process. Uh, the kiosk will ask you a variety of questions about your device, the condition, um, carrier, et cetera. And then what will happen is you’ll plug your device into the kiosk, like a tray will open. And inside our technology we’ll examine it, see if the quality, you said it is, matches it, and then ultimately offer you a trade in value for that device where then you can either accept it or say, no, I’d rather keep my phone. And then if your phone isn’t worth anything they say, I think it was, what’s so important is it will ask you when it recycle it for no money, but you’re, you know, protecting the environment. Um, cause they’ll, uh, the difference is that it’s all online. So you go on, get your trade in value. Answer a same Sim, a series of questions, but the inspection happens at our Processing Facility in Louisville, Kentucky. And um, it’s about a seven to 10 day process. We send you the box, the shipping, so you don’t have to provide any of that. Um, and then you can choose one of three ways to be paid out. So with equally TM, it’s cash. Whereas with Casal you can do a standard check paypal or Amazon gift card.

Dylan Welch
So it seems like technology, I mean it doesn’t seem like it is, technology is getting better and better at an exponential rate. Seems like you buy a phone the next day, the new model comes out. Same with computers, really anything. What trends are you seeing in terms of people throwing out their old technology?

Chase Freeman
Yeah, so it’s actually an astounding, I’m about 416,000 phones are disposed of in the u s by Americans every day. And I think when you look at that, it really shows that people are, whether that phone’s old, new, middle of the road, they’re getting rid of their phones quickly. Um, further to that, uh, you know, consumers are only keeping their devices about 12 to 18 months. That’s the cycle. So even if they have multiple devices, there’s always, I think, something being either not used anymore, put into jor throwing out. Um, and also with manufacturers constantly coming out with new devices, obviously the market has become more saturated. So there’s always some kind of device that, whether even be a computer, a Mac book, somebody is ready for a new one, what do they do with the old one? And I think a lot of people maybe don’t realize there are these options easily accessible for them to, you know, recycle

Dylan Welch
416,000 every single day. That’s just phones.

Chase Freeman
Uh, yeah. So like a smart phones. It could be, um, you know, even including those old flip phones, just because some people may still use them or just have them sitting around.

Dylan Welch
Do you guys refurbish those? And then do you see a big international market when you’re reselling those?

Chase Freeman
Yeah. So, um, when phones that are traded in through [inaudible], they go a few different ways. One they could just be recycled. So say they’re at the end of their life. We work with, it’s called [inaudible] certified facilities. And what that means is they’re going to properly dispose to those devices. So as I was mentioning earlier, you know, throwing a phone in the trash, there could be mercury or lead or arsenic in that device from the battery to the parts, et cetera. So our two certified facilities, uh, across the country work with us to ensure they’re properly recycled. Um, the other side is that Gazelle also has a online store. So it’s the other side of, is that where you can purchase, just like you say, you would buy a certified preowned car, you can buy a certified preowned Mac book, Iphone, Ipad, Imac, uh, for fraction of the cost of retail, but could look pretty much brand new. Um, and then the third side is we do work with wholesalers internationally on devices that don’t either get recycled end up on our store. So it’s kind of a few different ways that we insure, you know, one, we want to give them another life because I think that’s the ultimate goal. But further to that, if they, if they are at the end of the life, we make sure the recycled properly.

Dylan Welch
That makes sense. Because when I was first chatting, it almost sounded like you’ll take an old flip phone and you know, fix it back up. Right. Really you’ll also, if it’s unusable, you’ll make sure it gets disposed of properly rather than just sitting in a landfill somewhere. And it’s really interesting because when you think about, let’s say cars, you don’t just use your car and then dump it in a trash, you give it to the next person who needs it. So that’s really interesting. How can people get more involved in terms of both Eco Atm Gazelle as well as just more educated about this e-waste situation that we have going on?

Chase Freeman
Yeah, that’s a great question. So I think it’s first just understanding what works best for you as a consumer. So, you know, we’re talking about eco wait Tim and Ghazal just understanding which trading process you prefer. And I think that’s what’s great about, you know, our brand is that we offer consumers more than one way to trade in. Um, and then I think it’s also deciding do you necessarily need a brand new phone when you are upgrading, do you want to look into getting a certified pre owned device? Um, and I think it’s also understanding that, you know, I think a lot of people think, well if I don’t throw it away and give it to you, what does that mean? And I think that goes back to what I was saying, you know, at the core of our brand, it’s really being sustainable and recycling these devices properly with our two certified facilities. So I think it’s like, just understanding the process is so simple. Like you can trade your phone and, and as little as 10 minutes and send it in through Biz dollar, Eco, ATM. And I think what people also don’t understand is that only a 20% of devices are recycled properly. So about 80%, just to give another stat. Wow. Are Not being recycled properly. So whether they’re ending up in landfills, they’re just sitting in drawers, they’re just, you know, not, people aren’t really thinking about it because, oh, I forgot I even had that Stoller. It’s just easier to throw it in a trashcan and not understand the effect that would have on the environment.

Dylan Welch
Well, and you’re giving cash for it. It’s a win win for everybody. Exactly. The environment and you get some cash in your pocket, that old phone that sitting in your drawer or you throw it in the garbage that’s cash that you can then have. What is the, what are your future goals for the company and how can that help you know, lead a more sustainable world?

Chase Freeman
That’s a great question. I think, you know, we, we obviously are always trying to find more ways to offer this service to consumers. So right now we’re in 47 states. Um, we’ll be nearing closer to, you know, that 50 state mark, hopefully in the near future. Um, W to date we’ve diverted over 19 million devices from landfills. And, um, I think what’s helped us with that is how we’ve grown exponentially. So over 3,200 kiosks now, um, towards march or April, we’re probably, I’m going to introduce into anchorage, Alaska for the first time. So that’s exciting. And then I’m on the Gazelle side, you know, that’s easily accessible online to consumers. But another exciting thing we just launched was going to the UK. So taking our kiosk, I’m in the UK, they’re called Gazelle kiosks and um, launching those for the first time. So looking at this as more of a global issue rather than just here in the states. Um, and our first international venture being the UK, so it’s pretty exciting.

Dylan Welch
Wow, that’s awesome. Well hopefully you hit that 50 state mark and then a hundred country mark within the next couple of years. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Thank you. We’ll be right back with more going green

Advertisements

Leave a Reply